NFR history is on Beisel’s side

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Cinch barrel racer Emily Beisel has found great success in her first three qualifications to the National Finals Rodeo, and she’s hoping the fourth stands out, too, during this year’s 10-day championship.

Cinch barrel racer hoping to expand on her extensive Vegas earnings

Cinch barrel racer Emily Beisel didn’t want to stay in the Northwest through so much of September.

She had to, though.

It was one thing to be part of the Ellensburg Rodeo and the Pendleton Round-Up. It was quite another to know she needed every dollar she could muster in order to return to the National Finals Rodeo for the fourth straight year.

“That was my first time to go and stay in the Northwest,” she said. “There was a lot of learning going on. I thought Puyallup (Washington) would suit Chongo, and it really didn’t. I thought Ellensburg would fit Beau, but I tipped a barrel. We were really close to doing some big things and couldn’t quite get it together.”

Beisel needed her herd of horses just to qualify for the NFR. She found some success through Oregon, Washington and Idaho, but she found even more when the end of the rodeo season took her closer to home in Weatherford, Oklahoma. She won rodeos in Abilene, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to close out the regular season.

By the time the final pennies were tabulated, she had earned $93,965 in 2022 and heads to the NFR as the No. 9 barrel racer on the money list.

“It’s awesome to know we’re going back to the NFR,” Beisel said. “It just gets tougher every year to qualify. More girls are out here pursuing it, and the horsepower is incredible. The goal is to make the NFR, but I want to do right by my horses. I have three incredible horses, and they’re all in their prime. They’ve been really good to me.”

They were outstanding and have been for several years. They have been the guiding force behind Beisel’s success, and they’ve proven it time after time. Where the jockey seems to show up the best is when she arrives at the NFR.

Her best run through ProRodeo’s grand finale came in her inaugural season there in 2019, when she placed second in the 10-round aggregate and earned $157,654. In her previous three qualifications combined, she has collected $403,783.

That’s impressive, but so is Beisel, who was raised on a farm in western Kansas. Rodeo took her first to Garden City (Kansas) Community College, then on to Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Every lesson she’s gained in her lifetime comes into play when she runs her horse down the alley and toward that first barrel.

“You hope things will go as good as they have in the past, but it’s a new rodeo every day,” Beisel said. “You have to run your race and focus on every single night. I have had it start out magical, and I’ve had it start horrendous. You just never know. It’s going to be a knife fight. There are a lot of great horses returning to the Thomas & Mack.”


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